How to do Ceramic Inlay Using Wax Resist

There are many ways to approach ceramic inlay. Chandra DeBuse shows us how to do ceramic inlay with wax resist and have quick clean up!

This clip was excerpted from Sketch & Stretch: Creating Playful Pottery with Illustrated Surfaces, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Shop!

Lately I have been doing a lot of ceramic inlay – sometimes called mishima ceramics or slip inlay – and I just love the results. One thing I don’t care for though is when parts of my lines chip off if the clay gets too dry.

But Chandra DeBuse’s new video reminded me of another way to do ceramic inlay: carve the designs through wax resist. I think this would solve those chipping problems I have been having, plus make the clean up way easier. In today’s clip from Chandra’s video, Sketch & Stretch, she demonstrates the ceramic inlay with wax resist process. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

ceramic inlay



Five Great Decorating Techniques

Make surfaces that stand out when you download this freebie, Five Great Decorating Techniques.

More on Ceramic Inlay

Inlay Ceramics Definition: A decorative technique where a pattern is carved into the clay at the leather hard stage and a clay slip of a contrasting color is laid into the decoration. When inlaid slip dries, the excess is scraped washed away with a sponge to reveal the pattern.

There are many different ways to approach inlay ceramics. Sumiko Takada prefers a wider line than the traditional lines made with mishima slip inlay, so she uses a clay ribbon tool technique for a new wider twist on ceramic inlay. While most do ceramic inlay on greenware, Steven Young Lee does his slip inlay technique on bisqueware using thick slips. Robert Strasser’s technique, which he calls wet slip inlay, doesn’t use any carving. Instead, he layers different colors of colored slip onto platters and then jiggles them while still wet to create intense marbled patterns.

ceramic inlayTo learn more about Chandra DeBuse or to see more images of her work, please visit

Do you have another twist on ceramic inlay? Let us know in the comments below!

**First published in October 2015
  • Great video! Here is a blog you might be interested in checking out about my adventures in underglaze and wax resist. Thanks!


    Chandra, do you fire in an electric kiln or gas/wood fired kiln? You do beautiful work. Thank you for sharing!

  • Valerie P.

    A couple of friends and I were attended a wonderful workshop with Chandra in May 2015 where she demo’ed her techniques. She is a great teacher; used the workshop time really efficiently and is generous with sharing her work. Would recommend her workshops highly.

  • Nadine B.

    Fantastic demo, Chandra! Thank you to share it!
    But, I’d like to know witch kind of wax is it, where do you find it? I leave in Belgium And I’ll try to find this kind of wax.
    Thank you very much again, have a nice day.

  • Michael P.

    Thanks Ash. As soon as I pressed the Post Comment button, I realized that the piece was going to be bisqued, first. I felt like an idiot, but couldn’t find a way to edit my post and pretend that it never happened. 🙂

    As for the Amaco Velvet, I’m surprised: mine (V-series) looks a way thicker. More like a cream. Does Sandra use a different series Velvet or just waters it down? Watching the video I thought she used something like black iron oxide.

  • Michael,

    Chandra uses Amaco velvet underglazes. The wax and underglaze is applied to leatherhard clay and burns out in the bisque. Glazing would be done like normal post bisque. Hope this helps!

  • Michael P.

    What underglaze material was used in the demo?

    How do you apply glaze over the previously waxed and inlaid surface? Do you evaporate the wax in a kiln, first?

    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Larger version of the image
Send this to a friend